Debates of 4 Mar 2009

PRAYERS 11:05 a.m.


STATEMENTS 11:15 a.m.

Mrs. Gifty Ohene-Konadu (NPP -- Asante Akim South) 11:45 a.m.
Madam Speaker, before I make my comment, I would like to draw the attention of my other female Hon. Colleagues on the other side to this omission. We least expected that this Statement would be made today because the day is 8th of March and we would have wished that they informed us so that we could adequately prepare to support them. So next time, they should give us prior information.
Madam Speaker, Internat ional
Women's Day, as my Hon Colleague pointed out, is celebrated each year to acknowledge women's contribution to the development effort of society and also raise the ills in the society which are detrimental to the advancement of women. Over the last eight years, there have been
significant improvement in the lives of women in this country.
We can talk about issues or pro- grammes that the previous Government initiated in order to uplift the status of women in this country. The creation of the Women and Children's Affairs Ministry and giving it a Cabinet status so that women could have a voice at the highest level of governance is one such initiative.
Madam Speaker, a window of oppor- tunity was also created at the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs so that women could have access to loans without collateral to improve their business. Conscious efforts were also made to grow women's businesses from the micro size to small and medium. I think these are laudable initiatives that were put in place by the previous Government and the present Government should take a cue from this and continue with such programmes.

These programmes are initiated so that women will not depend so much on the men because it is only when they are independent and they have their own lives that we can really fight some of these violence perpetuated against women and also their daughters. Madam Speaker, there are indications that women alone cannot fight this menace because it is not a women's issue, it is a societal issue.

We therefore need to join hands with our counterparts, that is the male counterparts if we can really make any meaningful impact as far as this subject- matter is concerned; and that is why we have to commend the NPP Government for the support it gave to the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit to investigate and prosecute men who perpetuated violence against women and girls.

Madam Speaker, let me commend, before I take my seat, all women of this country who constitute about 52 per cent of the entire population for their efforts in varied ways to help this country move forward.

Mr. Ambrose P. Dery (NPP --

Lawra/Nandom): Madam Speaker, I think that the issue of violence against women is a very important one. It is not a problem for women, it is a problem for all of us and I think that as Members of Parliament we should make it part of our mandate to actually be advocates against this canker against more than half of the population of our country.

For instance, we need to educate our constituents and be advocates against customary practices which encourage these practices of violence against women. First, is the issue of female genital mutilation which is practised in certain parts of our country based on many misconceptions.

It is thought that when that operation is conducted the women are more moral and they will not be easily prone to sex and indulge in prostitution. We know clearly -- all of us know -- that it is a serious misconception and I think it is a part of our mandate to lead a crusade in our various constituencies against such practices. So I think that it is a matter of serious concern and we need to empower our women. I have realized that in spite of all the pieces of legislation that we have had in this country, women are not yet empowered to be able to assert their rights.

If you take the issue of Intestate Succession Law, in my practice as a lawyer, I had a lot of problems with women who did not want to assert their rights because of the stigma that society would consider that they have killed their husbands and that they are fortune seekers.
Mrs. Gifty Ohene-Konadu (NPP -- Asante Akim South) 11:55 a.m.
was being made, I noticed some misgivings or certain nuances that were taking place in the room. Madam Speaker, there are more men in this room than females and I felt that either they felt very saddened by what they were hearing or perhaps they had some reservations.
I hope that before this Sitting ends our male counterparts, just like our Colleagues have contributed, would also contribute to this theme because it is entreating all of us as partners, it is not against the men, it is bringing the men on board to fight something that is of common interest.
Madam Speaker, let me focus on two aspects of this issue, one is on the youth and the second is on the home and family situations. Among the youth, if you listen to the news, read the newspapers and even listen to evidence at the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), you would see that many, many young men are increasingly getting involved in rape of young girls.
I think this is a very, very bad situation. We need to let our youth recognise that it is not a fanfare to attack a female and the result of which can affect the person negatively in her whole life. Some may even drop out of school because of the stigma. Some may be so physically bruised that they may not even walk. And some may never have children because of the damage that might have been caused. And I am hearing more of even gang rape, as if it is an escapade, some enjoyment for young people to come together and do this.
As a mother, I want to caution our youth that apart from what you might have done to another child you would have to think even of yourself, the impact it would have on your own future, that that stigma can live with you at certain times that you
may find yourself even being a misfit in society in future.
Again, at the home situation evidence show, and DOVVSU has said this and many researchers have also indicated, that a lot of rape takes place around the home and family situations whereby it is either a close family member or somebody within the neighbourhood who is more or less like a family friend. Or in compound homes, one may find somebody else living in another room not necessarily a family friend but part of the whole compound.
It is therefore important for parents, mothers and fathers and guardians, to caution their young females that they should not feel that it is wrong for them to say no when they are sent to go and buy some cigarette or koko or some rice and to take to the next door neighbour in their room.

We feel that when an elder sends us we should comply because that is polite. But we are seeing that this is a way of luring young girls into people's rooms and getting them raped. So I believe that as parents we should be bold and tell our children to, in this day and age, say no, and not go and that we would not chastise them for being rude.

It is important for us also -- Those of us who are parents, particularly we women; we send children walking around the streets with pans of cassava or tomatoes to go and sell, unguarded. A lot of them are under age. They should be in school. And yet, I see these young people walking around the streets with no adults with them. What will happen if somebody lures them into their rooms and say, “I want to buy some of your tomatoes”, that they should put their pans somewhere and come inside for the money?

We have a responsibility as parents to do that, that is, to prevent young people from being used in child labour and to go around unguarded because even the Children's Act is against this kind of practice.

Finally, Madam Speaker, we witness a lot of violence within the marital setting. Unfortunately, sometimes it is good, I would say, that we try to keep marriages together as much as possible. Tra-ditionally, when a woman complains about violence, we say, “Oh, stay. For the sake of the children, please do not go. You know you should not divorce.

But Madam Speaker, it has been found out that a lot of violence that are perpetuated in marriages is because sometimes people do not find themselves compatible or the man wants to get rid of the woman because of other reasons - or whatever reason -- [An Hon Member: What reasons?] -- [Interruptions.] Please, the hon. Member would get his chance and contribute.

Madam Speaker, I believe that marriage should be saved but I believe also that we should recognize when things are not good so that we will allow people to separate and live their lives and save people's lives. We have had a situation whereby people have either committed suicide because they were unhappy in marriage or somebody has killed the wife or the husband has been killed because of bad marriage.

There is a saying in Akan which translates that a bad marriage is worse than death. [Some Hon Members: Eh!] And it is important -- Yes, Aware bone kyen owuo. It is a saying that a bad marriage is worse than death. So I am pleading that when it is not possible, we should allow
Madam Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Members, at this stage, I must say, we have about four Statements. So to enable everybody to contribute, let us look at our time.
Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC -- Wa Central) 11:55 a.m.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably presented by our Hon Colleague on the theme, “Women and Men United to end Violence Against Women and Girls”.
Madam Speaker, the question about violence against women is a worldwide phenomenon. And it took shape from our own perception of what the woman represents in our lives. Some trace it from the biblical quotation, others from the Qur'an and others from the traditional authorities. But the truth is that women are unique species and they are equal to men in terms of what it takes to create a human being.
Madam Speaker, I believe that Ghana took the lead in understanding the phenomenon that women have equal rights as well as men as far back as the nineteenth century when Kwegyir Aggrey of blessed
Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC -- Wa Central) 12:05 p.m.
memory talked about educating a woman. He said, when one educates a woman, one educates a whole family or generation.
Madam Speaker, at that time, in the United States of America which is a model of civilization and model of democracy, women were still subjected to a lot of ill- treatment. They were not allowed to vote. And so, Ghana has no choice but to begin to shape our understanding towards mainstreaming gender and ensuring that when we talk about equity in the sexes, we mean providing equal rights for both men and women at the family level, at the community level and at the national level of our march towards development.
Madam Speaker, it is important that we understand gender mainstreaming; it will solve this problem many, many times over. The reason is that any time we think about planning it is important to think about planning not in terms of who does it but in terms of its outcome. So we should not think about it only in terms of what capacity to bring in and the fact that we narrow things down all the time to what the men bring to the table.
In all our planning, we do appear not to take into consideration the fact that we are men and women living in the same country and pursuing the same goal. In most situations, one finds that at the end of it all, like we sit here, most people here are men. Planning does not take care of the fact that we have women who are historically disadvantaged and we need some kind of gender activism and some kind of positive decision-making to ensure that they catch up with the rest of society.
Madam Speaker, it is a serious problem and I think that we need to begin to think about how to empower women so that in the end men can be contributing towards bringing women up to a situation where we
can see ourselves as equal. The Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs has a part to play in this. I think that there is the need for the Ministry to begin to review its whole policy about how to present its position in supporting women.

Empowering women does not just mean providing education. It also means that at all levels, especially at the level where women are not given the rights as much as men, that is at the local level, at the family level, they are supported by policy. Policy will have to support them. Madam Speaker, the issue of violence against women is perpetuated mostly at the family and community levels, but the problem is a rights issue.

It is not just a social issue; it is a rights issue and it is in the Constitution. The fact that women are women does not mean that men can go away with violence against them or anybody else. It also does not mean that the girl child can be violated just because they are helpless and cannot protect themselves.

These are things that we can trace to our Constitution. These are things that we can trace to our laid down rules and regulations and to the Criminal Code. I would call on the Ministry to begin to review its whole policy on this issue and bring it up as a rights issue so that we can enforce these rules for people to know the dangers therein when they perpetuate violence against women.

I would also want to call on gender activists. Madam Speaker, because of the currency of the problem in Ghana, it has generated gender activism in Ghana but there is a misdirection in this respect. Gender activism is mostly seen to be a situation where women are very much aware of their situation and therefore are

aggrieved against men and in that situation they will always attack men even when they know that men are not necessarily the cause of it.

In that respect, that approach of gender activism is giving them a bad name and I would want to call on them to begin to study the situation more thoroughly, more closely to understand the real problems. Just being in Accra and embarking on gender activism is not enough. The real problem is in the community. It is in the villages. It is in the local areas where women are less empowered and where women are so subjected to the whims and caprices of their male counterparts. So it is important that gender activism moves from the elitist level to the local level of decision-making and of how we approach this decision.

Lastly, the fact that there is an international dimension to it means that Ghana should always want to see our own actions reflect the international scene. So it is important that whatever we are doing here we also look at the international aspect of it. What are other countries doing to ameliorate this problem, to tackle this problem? What are they doing in their policy approach? It will help us not only to localize the fact that we are fighting violence against women but it will also help us to have best practices copied and brought into Ghana.

I thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity.
Madam Speaker 12:05 p.m.
At this stage, can I ask you to be brief because we have one hour for Statements. So be fairly short.
Mr. Mathias K. Ntow (NDC -- Aowin) 12:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by the Hon Member. In fact, every man has passed through the
hands of a woman. There is no man who has never passed through the hands of a woman. And we need to commend our womenfolk for the great work they are doing in Ghana and the world at large.
They are the home makers; we cannot deny that fact. Their services must be acknowledged. We must also appreciate and recognize and commend the activities of women in the Ghanaian society.
One area that I want to say a few words is violence against women and I thank the last Parliament for passing the law on Domestic Violence. It touches on an aspect of our lives that need to be looked at closely. In fact, perpetrators of domestic violence must be punished heavily. I do not know the punishments that have been meted out to those who violate the rights of women and toddlers.
Victims of domestic violence must be adequately compensated. Women who suffer violence in the hands of other women or men -- because it is not only the men that are the perpetrators of domestic violence. Toddlers are also partners in that kind of violence against women.
In the Ghanaian society much of the work in the home is done by the woman. Madam Speaker, let us take for example, my community, after the man has cleared the forest he leaves it for the woman to do the planting and the weeding. Then when the foodstuff is ready it is the woman who has been going to the farm to carry the food items to the market for sale. Then when she gets to the house, it is the same woman who in addition to attending to a baby who also makes sure that she prepares something for the family.
At the end of the day when the woman is expected to rest at around 8.30 p.m. /
Mrs. Gifty E. Kusi 12:05 p.m.
On a point of order. Madam Speaker, I am the Member of Parliament for Tarkwa Nsuaem and I do not see men coming to Tarkwa so often, so he should tell me - [Laughter.]
Mr. Ntow 12:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I thank the Hon Member. I said, “Tarkwa” -- in quotes.
Madam Speaker, because of our time, let me wind up. On the other hand, I think our women too must be talked to. If we want to stop rape and violence against women they must also take note of the mode of their dressing.
Madam Speaker, you will agree with me that this time when we go out there we will see the dressings of some women -- It is uncalled for and that entices men to enter into that kind of activity which is against society.
So I want to commend the Hon. Member for coming up with that Statement. Any issue here that concerns violence against women must be supported by all Hon. Members in this House so that women too will have their rights protected.
Madam Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon. Members, I think I will move to the next Statement. We have had enough on the first Statement.
So if I may call on Hon Richard Akuoko Adiyia, Member of Parliament for Ahafo Ano North.

Mobile Phone Usage and Driving -- Friend or Foe?
Mr. Richard Akuoko Adiyia (NPP -- Ahafo Ano North) 12:15 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to make a Statement on “Mobile Phone Usage and Driving -- Friend or Foe?”
Madam Speaker, there are indications and concerns that the country could be ignoring an unseen contributory factor to the rising trend of accidents on our roads.
Madam Speaker, Government loses US$162 million annually on medical expenses of victims, damage to vehicles and insurance cost which represent 1.6 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a result of road accidents.
Madam Speaker, though the authorities of the Police Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) and researchers into the causes of accidents admit there are no figures or statistics that can prove the use of mobile phones whilst driving as a major cause of accidents in the country, they believe it could be a major contributory factor.
Nonetheless, some psychologists have drawn a correlation between dual tasking and distraction leading to accidents. In a research conducted by Adriana Bianchi of the Psychology Department, Monash University in Australia, she concludes that driving simulation studies indicate that dual tasking such as mobile phone usage whilst driving can be detrimental to driving performance.
Madam Speaker, most victims who survived accidents either could not tell the cause of the accident or tend to state untruths to cover the real cause of the accident which might in some cases be due to distraction by the use of mobile phones or fidgeting with other gadgets in
the vehicle.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Victor Oduro Abrokwah, the Ashanti Regional Commander of Police MTTU, attests to the fact that most accident victims either do not live to tell their story or those who survive lie to conceal the real cause of the accident for fear of being prosecuted but confirms the possibility of a correlation between mobile phone usage and accidents.
Needless to say, some drivers boast about the fact that they are able to combine mobile phone usage effectively with driving, in some cases, with hands-free gadgets without any eventualities.
Madam Speaker, Dr. Yaw Osei, the head of Psychiatry at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, is on record as saying that that is not possible and disagrees with such a notion. He points out that if the brain is capable of combining and dealing with so many tasks at the same time with no possible dangers, then we would not be dealing with stress management.
He further explains that all the sense organs are coordinated by the brain, adding that concentrating on one gadget at a time when the brain is busily working on other organs in other activities would constitute one is not thinking and looking correctly which could expose the individual to danger.
Dr. Yaw Osei also indicated that some information received in a conversation can also be devastating enough to alter the performance of a driver at a particular moment which can lead to road accidents. He gave an example that receiving a message while driving that one's child has been knocked down and admitted in a critical condition, could alter the concentration of the driver which could
have an adverse effect on his or her driving performance.
Madam Speaker, it is against this background that as a Member of Parliament for Ahafo Ano North, I have decided to spearhead and advocate for the passage of a legislation to ban the use of mobile phones whilst driving and the imposition of spot fines on drivers found to be flouting the law.
I believe the move could contribute immensely in curbing accidents on our roads. Of course, I am aware of the difficulties in sponsoring such legislation, let alone its enforcement.
Madam Speaker, I believe that there should be a concerted effort to invest in this additional legislation and enforcement of the existing legislation and empowering the capacities of related institutions in improving and promoting road safety. It should be noted that using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving has been banned in many countries like Australia, New Zealand and in some States in America.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr once said and I quote --
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and contro- versy.”
Should we as a nation just sit down and look and do nothing while our citizens are dying?
Thank you, Madam Speaker, and God bless our homeland Ghana
Owusu (Ind.
Mr. Joseph Osei 12:25 p.m.
It is also true that the major cause of accidents is driver error. Of all the three factors, driver error constitutes about eighty per cent of the causes of accidents. But what truly often leads to the driver error is lack of concentration due to the use of mobile phones, which is quite a recent phenomenon and also often due to fatigue.
It is a law of this country that no driver should drive beyond four hours without some rest. That law is actually observed more in the breach than in its observation. Indeed, the number of regulations laid by this Parliament and previous ones to ensure road safety are phenomenal. It is a pity, though, to say that enforcement is abysmal.
In 2004 this Parliament passed a Road Traffic Act. Under the Act driving and using a mobile phone is an offence; nobody is enforcing that. It is an offence to drive without the seat belt, nobody is enforcing that. It is an offence to have a child below five years sitting in the front seat of the vehicle; that is not being enforced. Indeed, there are many such road safety provisions in the Act which are not being enforced.
It is also a pity that in the instances when we try to enforce these laws, we make the enforcement a political issue such that drivers can hold all of us in the country to ransom.
It is my hope that now that we are coming to a realization of the economic
loss emanating from road traffic accidents, we will all work together to ensure that we enforce the road traffic regulations. The National Road Safety Commission and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) are the organizations responsible for regulating the road transport sector to ensure safety.
Indeed, apart from driver safety, vehicle safety is another major issue which we must look at. As Chief Executive of DVLA from 2002 to 2008, I can say without any fears of contradiction anywhere that what we call roadworthiness in this country is in fact a joke. I am not saying that as a criticism; I am saying that, I have said that all the six and a half years that I was there, and I continue to say that today.
It was in recognition of that that in 1999 this Parliament passed the DVLA Act by which it empowered the licensing authority to license and regulate private garages to undertake vehicle testing for road safety.
In the name of that law, the DVLA encouraged private garages to set up ultra- modern vehicle testing centres. About five of them are ready and those who watched television recently saw them with ultra- modern equipment. But as we speak today, people's investments are lying waste; we are not urging or directing vehicles there to be tested to ensure that they are safe.
We need to ensure that the most commonly used means of transport in this country assures us safety whilst we go about our normal duties. I pray that in the upcoming Budget we will see more resources put at the disposal of the road infrastructure agencies to ensure that roads that are bad are fixed and those that have not been made at all, will be made, particularly the roads from Bekwai up to Kokofu and the others which are within the Bekwai Constituency.
To conclude, I must say that it is time this country took road safety seriously and ensured that the rules and regulations that are made for ensuring safety are enforced.

Mr. Justice Joe Appiah (NPP --

Ablekuma North): Madam Speaker, I am on my feet to make a few observations about the scourge of the use of the cellular phone. I call it the necessary evil. It is evil because it can create an accident in a very short time. It is necessary because you can make a call within a short time to and talk to your neighbour or your loved one outside the country.

Madam Speaker, it is also handy as it

can be carried from place to place. Madam Speaker, these essential qualities have made the equipment to be in high demand such that minors keenly compete with adults to possess it and also as part of its worthiness. Its portability is widespread; it makes it possible to be used everywhere except when submerged in water.

Madam Speaker, its possession brings enormous health hazards as it is in constant contact with the ears. Madam Speaker, it could also give rise to urticaria; its naked touch with the breast always could cause breast cancer. And when not enclosed in the pouch in a man's pocket it could give birth to prostate cancer. [Interruption] -- Oh, yes. [Laughter.]

Madam Speaker, aside being expensive

to run and maintain as well as the risk involved in possessing it, its use while driving has been the prime source, worse
Dr. A. A. Osei 12:25 p.m.
On a point of order.
Madam Speaker, particularly, this week we have been reminded several times that in this House when you make a statement and you do not have the evidence to back it up, you should not make it or you should be asked to withdraw. My Hon. Colleague just made a statement that if you use a mobile phone, you could have prostate cancer -- [Interruption] -- if you put it in your pocket. I want to suggest that if he does not have the evidence here, he should withdraw the statement and come back again.
Mr. Appiah 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I can
refer my Hon Colleague to the authorities. We have doctors here, they can also testify, and we have evidence. When you go to Korle-Bu, the doctors are there to tell you.
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon. Member,
he said you said if you put the phones in your pocket, you will have prostate cancer. [Laughter.] And he wants you to substantiate that.
Mr. Appiah 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, it gives
birth to prostate cancer -- [Interruption] -- Madam Speaker, there is a risk of getting a prostate cancer.
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Deale r s in
these things are not going to like this unsubstantiated allegation.
Prof. C. Ameyaw-Akumfi 12:25 p.m.
Speaker, some clarification. Madam Speaker, I think what the Hon Member is talking about is not the direct effect of whatever comes from the system on our prostate organ. This is the body, and the point he is trying to make is that the direct effect may be on your head; but ultimately, the tissues involved with prostate cancer may be affected.
So Madam Speaker, I suggest strongly that we all refer to medical experts for
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, you said prostate cancer, it means it refers to men alone. That is the impression I got, and I am not surprised that the men are challenging the veracity of it -- [Laughter] -- they say you are making a highly technical point, and substantiate it if you can. And if you cannot, they do not want it on record. [Interruption.]
Mr. Appiah 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Are you going to
withdraw it?
Dr. Matthew O. Prempeh 12:25 p.m.
Speaker, point of information. I wish to inform my Hon Colleague that the use of the words “putting mobile phones in your pocket will cause prostate cancer” is not true. He should say it has a risk of causing prostate cancer.
Thank you.
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, do
Mr. Appiah 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I accept
what my Hon Friend talked about.
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
So it has been
corrected. We move on then. Can you finish your contribution?
Mr. Appiah 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the last factor is that the cellular phone should particularly be outlawed while steering the wheel.
Madam Speaker, permit me to pay a
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Can I interrupt you?
Normally, Statements, we have one hour to discuss them but under Order 72, I will extend the time. One hour has already elapsed. So hereafter, shall we have five minutes for each Hon Member?
Mr. Appiah 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker,
permit me to pay glowing tribute to your genuineness, fairness and widespread efficiency in conducting the duties of the high office of Speaker of Parliament. [Laughter] -- Madam Speaker, I humbly ask for the Almighty God's divine blessings, knowledge and wisdom in meeting your high office as the Speaker of this House.
Madam Speaker, thank you for the attention and time.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
I thank you, Hon
Member. I am taking a very good look at you now. [Laughter.] Thank you. Let us move to the next Statement, and that is the Statement of Hon. Elizabeth Agyeman, Member of Parliament for Oforikrom.
Mysterious Deaths of Children in Parked or Abandoned Vehicles
Mrs. Elizabeth Agyeman (NPP --
Oforikrom): Madam Speaker, I am the Member of Parliament for Oforikrom, the heart of Kumasi.
Madam Speaker, I rise with a heavy heart both as a mother and a grandmother, to express my deepest worry about the spate of mysterious deaths of children in either parked or abandoned vehicles in the Accra Metropolis lately. Madam Speaker, this situation, if not arrested immediately, may assume a more serious dimension as we have already recorded three separate incidents in less than a month.
It is most horrifying, Madam Speaker, to know that eight children, all boys, and between the ages of two and four, have already lost their lives. Madam Speaker,

the first case of such deaths was reported on Wednesday, February 4, 2009, at Anyaa, a suburb of Accra, where three children were found dead in a vehicle which was parked at an abandoned auto workshop. This was followed by another mysterious deaths similar to the earlier one which also occurred at Alogboshie, near Achimota, where three boys, all aged two where found dead in another abandoned saloon car.

Madam Speaker, just when the entire nation was soberly reflecting on what might be causing such horror, we woke up on Wednesday, February 25, 2009, to hear of another horrifying news that two other children had died in similar circumstances around Odorkor, also a suburb of Accra.

In all these cases, Madam Speaker, several people have given varied opinions as reasons and causes for these mysterious deaths, to the extent that some have described them as ritual murders while others think it is another form of serial killing. The police and other relevant bodies have assured the general public of an intensive investigation into the matter in order that the true causes of the deaths are established.

Permit me, Madam Speaker, to use this august House to extend my condolence to the bereaved families for their loss. It is my prayer that the good Lord will be with them during these trying moments.

While we wait for the outcome of the police investigation in all these cases, I would like to appeal to all parents and guardians to keep an eagle eye on their children, especially the younger ones. It is also important that the security apparatus and other agencies step up their watchdog responsibilities so as to prevent these occurrences.

I also believe, Madam Speaker, that community policing where everybody is each other's keeper could also play a vital role in solving this problem.

Thank you, Madam Speaker, for this opportunity.

Mr. Isaac K. Asiamah (NPP --

Atwima-Mponua): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this great Statement coming of course, from a mother and a grandmother, indeed.

Madam Speaker, I believe that as a

nation we need to protect the future leaders of this country and children indeed are the greatest assets any nation can ever have. What is happening, Madam Speaker, is worrying.

Madam Speaker, it is important to know that a lot of reasons and causes have been assigned to this strange phenomenon that is happening in this country. Some, as was stated in the Statement, attributed it to ritual murders or serial killings. Madam Speaker, if it is about ritual murders, it is quite pathetic; whether it is about traditional or about political ritual, whichever way one looks at it, Madam Speaker, it is disheartening and very disturbing. And the way and manner they seem to occur in threes, Madam Speaker, give us some worrying situation.

Madam Speaker, I believe whatever it is, those people must bow their heads in shame. Whoever is responsible, whether a group or an individual, must bow their heads in shame. For how will it benefit you to kill innocent children just to satisfy your whims and caprices, whether to achieve political power or traditional hegemony, whatever it is.

Madam Speaker, I believe this is very dangerous and that we should sound a lot of caution to all and sundry that we should never sacrifice human lives for whatever
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.

purpose we want to achieve in life. What happened at the man's house, obviously, is the work of a devilish individual, somebody who decided to put an end to those innocent kids' lives just to achieve a purpose.

Madam Speaker, if it is about serial killing, it could also be due to a desperate individual who is out there to satisfy a certain purpose in life. So these are issues that we need to address. Madam Speaker, this danger, for me, is almost like a repetition of what happened nine years ago, when women in this country were killed left and right. You will get up and a woman is killed here and a woman is killed there.
Mr. Blankson 12:35 p.m.
On a point of order.
Madam Speaker, it is rather unfortunate that the issue under question is before the law enforcement agencies and up to now there have not been any adverse findings. So I caution our Hon. Member on the other side that he should try to speak to the issue. Because our dear Hon. Sister just gave the Statement in consolation of what has happened to the bereaved families in order that we would take a cue, so that fathers and mothers will be able to organize a way of controlling their children so that they will not suffer the situation in which they find themselves now.
We are reading politics into it. But if we stand here and apportion blame to any political party, saying that the issue after
nine years, women were being killed, then we are rather saying that when you are in opposition the issue occurs, but when you come to power, those things cease. So I will urge my Hon. Colleague that he should speak to the issue.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 12:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker,
thank you. I do not know whether -- As they say -- “who the cap fits should wear it” or whatever it is. Madam Speaker, whatever it is, I am making a statement of fact that these things are not just happening, there must be reasons and causes to that. So these are the issues we are raising. And I am talking also on periodity, the fact that it happened nine years ago -- 2000 and it is happening in 2009 and in threes -- [Interruptions.] Obviously, it is so mysterious that it gives one -- [Interruption.]
Mr. James Klutse Avedzi 12:35 p.m.
Speaker, I think my Hon Colleague -- [Some Hon Members: Which Order?] -- Order 91. The Hon Member is misleading this House. He made a statement by saying that nine years ago and if you calculate nine years back, that is in year 2000. He is saying that in the year 2000, there were similar killings as is happening now. I want to remind him that that is the year they were in opposition and were doing everything possible to get to power to discredit the Government of the day -- [Uproar.]
Nine years after -- a year after that those things stopped, they never occurred again. Then immediately they went into opposition again, those things surfaced. So he should know how to talk. He should remind himself.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
I think it is a point
of correction. He sat down and listened. Can you carry on?
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 12:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker,
it is better for me to ignore him.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
You do not ignore
him. We do not ignore you so we do not expect you to ignore people. So you carry on.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker,
as I said, who the cap fits should wear it and he has decided to wear the cap.
Madam Speaker, I think the role of the security agencies is important. Sometimes when some of these things happen, the co-operation of the citizenry, Madam Speaker, is paramount.
So when these things happen, the rush and the haste with which we get to the scene, we kill all evidence. We destroy every material evidence that will enable the security agencies to carry out any further investigations. So it is important that when these things happen, we report first to the appropriate security agencies for them to do thorough work so that the culprits could be apprehended.

Madam Speaker, with these few words I thank the Hon Member who made the Statement.
Ms. Shirley A. Botchway (NPP -- Weija) 12:45 p.m.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Statement. It is indeed very frightening to hear about these deaths.
Madam Speaker, the one at Anyaa, actually Anyaa is within my constituency and therefore, it is of great concern to me and my condolences go to all the families, especially, the families in my constituency.
But Madam Speaker, I notice something that is becoming very prevalent and that is the irresponsibility of some parents,
especially in capital cities. Madam Speaker, you will find that parents wake up in the morning and in their rush to go to work, whether it is to go about their trading activities or whatever, they leave their children to househelps and in some cases they do not even leave the children to any adult.
They just leave the children and the children wander about and in some cases they even work in the house but do not know what the children do.
Most of these children are under the ages of 5 and it is sad to think that a responsible parent will leave children at that age to go wandering about. You will find a lot of them going about their own business, wandering about. Even you can see some children begging because the parents have not provided for them in the morning.
I hope that whatever findings that will come out of the police investigations will be taken very seriously and if indeed, in some of the cases, it is because of the irresponsibility of the parents then the parents really should be punished for what has happened.
Madam Speaker, this is just to add to
what has already been said and also once again, my condolences to the families and I hope that whatever it is that is causing this -- we do not know what it is because the police investigations are still going on but whatever it is will be found and we will see an end to this whole thing.
I thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mr. David Oppon 12:45 p.m.

Ofoase/Ayirebi): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement on the floor.

Madam Speaker, I promise to be very brief because the Statement itself is very brief.
Mr. David Oppon 12:45 p.m.

I think the time has come for all of us to seek a solution to this and in doing that, I would like to take a more scientific view of this phenomenon.

Madam Speaker, I do not think that there are any mischiefs though I do not discount that aspect of it. In my own belief, I think that we should start doing something about it. First and foremost, there is this phenomenon of parking cars anywhere. Whenever somebody finds that a car is no more useful, wherever the problem occurs, the car is parked there. There are cars parked everywhere, in houses, in abandoned blocks, on the sides of roads. You know children are naturally curious. I remember when we were kids, we would go to a fitting shop and then simulate driving. We would go there and get through the cars. Fortunately for us, the cars of old did not have glasses -- arolglass, so we called them; so we could go in and come out safely. These days the cars are rolled tight such that when a child enters -- and in the heat -- there is nothing that can be done. When you do not discover them in there before something happens, they will die.

I think that the time has come for us to be very particular -- whenever something happens, we find people grouping around but we are normally not observant to forestall some of these things. As the Hon Member who just spoke said, parents should take responsibility. If you have a child of two or three years and you have not seen the child for about 30 minutes, you should be worried. Where is your child, where are they playing? We just leave them because the moment the children leave the house we are happy. We are free.

I think the time has come for everybody to be curious in a positive manner. When

we see things abandoned, when we see children playing at places they should not, even if they are not our children, we as a society should try to be more responsive to the children. Our children do not know these things. They are very vulnerable. When they see people driving, they also want to drive. They go in, they lock these cars and they are unable to open them.

I have given lifts to adults who when they get to their destination cannot find the lock to open the door of the vehicle and get out. So it is not strange that children of two years once they enter, cannot come out.

So let us look at the other side to see

whether this phenomenon -- it is not actually because we are not taking care of our children or we are abandoning too many cars anywhere at any time. We as a society are not very vigilant. When we see things, we are not proactive enough to find out whether these children are there; what these children are doing there.

Sometimes we find children at places where they should not be, abandoned fitting shops, what are they doing? They have no business being there. I think all of us should be up and doing. We should be each other's keeper and most importantly, parents, children below five years or even six years, when you have not seen them for 30 minutes to about an hour, you should be worried.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Improving the Operational Environment for Petty Traders
Mrs. Gifty Ohene-Konadu (NPP -- Asante Akim South) 12:55 p.m.
I thank you once again, Madam Speaker, for giving me another opportunity.
Madam Speaker, my topic is on
improving the operational environment for petty traders along key trunk roads in Ghana in order to generate employment and improve service delivery.
Madam Speaker, many employees are engaged in petty trading since it provides employment opportunities, especially for the productive poor Ghanaians who operate in the informal sector. The records show that the informal sector employees constitute about 80 per cent of the economically active population. Out of this figure, 60 per cent are women and the major trunk roads of the country have become the location for these petty traders to earn their living by selling foodstuffs, processed fish, game, bread, and handicrafts.
These traders who are both men and women, but mostly women, risk their lives while plying their trade on a daily basis. In some towns, such as Nsawam where they sell bread; Osino, “Osino graphic”; Juaso and Yawkwei in my constituency where they sell foodstuffs; Ejisu -- yam sellers; Atimpoku, abolo sellers; and Yamoransa Junction, Fante kenkey sellers and also Nkawkaw, they display their wares on the busy streets and do not only risk their lives, but also cause traffic jams when some vehicles stop in the middle of the road for their passengers to transact business with these traders.
Again, Madam Speaker, the activities of these traders block the view of pedestrians who cross the streets and many of them get killed by vehicles because neither the pedestrian nor the vehicle drivers have the opportunity to see the other end.
The necessary attention must be paid to providing these petty traders with the infrastructure for the proper siting of their stalls off the streets, while providing space for the cars to park in order to transact
business with these traders.
Madam Speaker, the re-routing of major sections of the Accra-Kumasi trunk road from towns such as Nsawam and Kyebi, will displace hundreds of micro and small scale enterprises that locate their activities along these roads. This will increase the incidence of poverty in these towns as well as stimulate an influx of young people migrating to Accra only to end up on the streets.

Madam Speaker, in selecting these

sites, and locations, a public-private partnership can be forged between District Assemblies (DAs), traditional authorities (TAs), consumer goods manufacturers and the associations of petty traders. The traditional authorities can provide the land while District Assemblies can provide the requisite infrastructure to develop the sites for these petty traders to operate.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry can

also facilitate the partnership between the District Assemblies, traditional authorities and manufacturers of goods traded by these traders along the trunk roads.

This partnership is expected to raise the

necessary physical and financial resources needed for locating the petty traders and also addressing their capacity building needs.

Madam Speaker, the proper siting

of these petty traders could prevent congestion and traffic often caused by these petty traders, and it will also curb rural-urban migration and the loss of livelihoods due to the re-routing of major trunk roads from towns, such as those on the Accra-Kumasi road.

The selected locations along these

trunk roads could become rest stops for tourists and travellers who will patronize
Mr. Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi (NPP -- Ejisu Juaben) 1:05 p.m.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for this opportunity to contribute to the Statement on the floor.
Madam Speaker, petty trading started many years ago. In my constituency at Ejisu, it started even before I was born, it means that it has been in existence for over 50 years now.
Madam Speaker, the dangers associa- ted with this petty trading, especially in the nodal towns, are so significant that vehicular accidents are the most prominent of these dangers. Some traders do die from the accidents; others also get maimed and overall, impart some costs to the nation.
Another significant problem in these areas is traffic congestion as has been stated in the Statement. It increases travelling time on our trunk roads and in doing so reduces the level of service that these roads are supposed to give to the motoring public.
Last but not least, air pollution is also
a problem that we encounter in such nodal towns because vehicles are slowed down and the emissions from the vehicles pollute the air significantly.
Madam Speaker, another problem that we have is that these areas become favourable for drivers of long and heavy vehicles to park and some do rest overnight and in doing so, Madam Speaker, all sorts

of friendships are developed and it turns even to casual sex and the spread of HIV/


Madam Speaker, it is not only in these

nodal towns that of late we have these petty trading going on. Almost every major town or even small towns along our trunk roads do have this petty trading going on.

Madam Speaker, it is important that the District Assemblies, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and all stakeholders that are interested in this petty trading, especially manufacturers, do contribute during the design stage of these trunk roads. Before any of our major roads are constructed, there is a display of the designs in one of the towns, or some of the towns along the route and I will entreat all stakeholders to contribute to the finalization of these designs when they are displayed. And I believe strongly, Madam Speaker, that these social problems would be addressed before the works begin.

I must indicate, Madam Speaker, that the Kumasi-Konongo rehabilitation project, there are some social facility components of this project and sheds were provided for the petty traders along this portion of the central corridor. And if the stakeholders take part before those final designs are concluded, I am sure moving the traders away from the road side can be incorporated in the designs which will reduce the spate of accidents on these sections of our road.

Madam Speaker, we have to realign our trunk roads in such towns where traffic congestions, due to petty trading and increase in vehicular traffic, slow down our vehicles considerably. Nsawam and Nkawkaw are two major examples that I can cite. Bypasses are being construc-ted on these roads. Madam Speaker, I wish to indicate that the Nsawam bypass has

been awarded and work has started. The Nkawkaw bypass is also ongoing.

Madam Speaker, it is important that in these sections of the road which form part of the central corridor, we do not have traffic congestions as a result of petty trading. And that is the reason why we have to construct bypasses. But Madam Speaker, it is also important that we incorporate some rest stops in other stations or areas for our petty traders so that they do not lose their jobs.

We do not also leave these towns because we have constructed bypasses but we must ensure that the access roads to these towns are also in good condition so that the travelling public which would be interested in going to these towns to do business, can also have a motorable road to these towns.

Madam Speaker, the problem is indeed increasing because almost every town along our major roads, especially the central and coastal corridors have these petty trading going on. I will suggest that the stakeholders interested in this petty trading should all the time participate before the final designs are completed so that the need of our mothers and sisters who do engage in petty trading, can be addressed before the project starts.

Madam Speaker, there are some towns in which it is very difficult even to have space for our mothers and sisters involved in petty trading. In such areas, there may be the need for the road agencies to ensure that vehicles are slowed down so that they do not get involved in any vehicular accidents resulting in deaths and others.

Madam Speaker, I am also glad to indicate that the NPP Administration, in the design of these central corridor roads,

have also included rest stops and inter- mini stations and I am sure that if the District Assemblies collaborate very well with these road agencies, this problem of petty traders coming too close to the road would be solved.
Mr. David Oppon 1:05 p.m.

Ofoase/Ayirebi): I thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement on the floor.

Madam Speaker, I would like to

congratulate the Hon Member who made the Statement for bringing to the fore some phenomena which have been very disturbing. Personally, I have been disturbed about these phenomena along our roads but I do believe that the issue is not that of petty traders alone.

The issue must be situated in a more disturbing phenomena that are occurring in the whole country. We are almost living on the road as a people. If you drive around, wherever you go, we are practically leaving our rooms, our structures and living on the road and I think this is what must be addressed. If this is properly addressed then we can start addressing the issue of traders. I will give two examples.

There is a town along the Accra-

Kumasi road called Jejeti. There used to be a thriving food market along the route. It became so dangerous that, I think the District Assembly then decided to make a market for them some distance from the road. They did this and that activity or that economic activity has collapsed completely. It means that we, even those of us who patronise the goods, love to buy our goods from the road side.

You will find that shops are built very close to the roads. Even where they are a little distant from the road, people find ways and means to bring goods from inside the shop and pack them close to the
Mr. David Oppon 1:05 p.m.

curves or close to the drains.

We have carpenters working very close to the road; they had to bring their chairs and beds very close to the roads. We have fitters who believe that they have to work very close and actually do their fitting works on the roads. We have vulcanisers working on the roads; we have smoked meat sellers working on the roads; we have chop bar keepers,we have all kinds of people who now conduct their business on the roads.

Madam Speaker, this whole country

has come to the point where all of us are living on the road and we should start addressing the issue; put some physical things in place, some structures in place or some laws to discourage people from conducting their businesses, from doing their everyday things on the road. The road is for road users, for pedestrians and for cars. It should be possible for us to completely separate road usage from other activities.

We must, from this moment, begin to look for ways to redesign the road corridors. If it becomes necessary to break some of the buildings, compensate owners for them and do what we want to do, so that we create space between our human activities and the road, it should be done.

We should look at this compre- hensively and then if we are able to do that so that our carpenters live off the road, our fitters live off the road, our car washing bays, our vulcanisers, all those who want to make a living live off the road so that we do know that when we are looking for their services, we need to go off the road for those services, we would be able to start solving the problems.

Madam Speaker, with this, I support the

Hon. Member who made the State-ment.
Prof. S. K. Amoako (NPP -- Akim Abuakwa North) 1:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I wish to contribute to the Statement made by the Hon. Member for Asante Akim South.
Madam Speaker, I am moved to make a contribution because of a personal experience relating to this particular phenomenon. I was driving from my constituency to Kumasi and had a disturbing spectacle of an incident on the road. I do not want to mention the name of that particular town. It related to the wholesomeness of the food that is sold by these hawkers. The particular item of food fell on the ground, it was picked by the hawker and placed back on the tray she was carrying on her head. I am worried about the wholesomeness of the food that is sold at these places.
As was suggested by the Hon. Member for Bekwai, I think it is important that drivers who drive for more than four hours should have some rest before they continue their journey. I suggest, very strongly, that we must build rest stops as was started by the NPP Administration and there should be the mandate on the drivers to stop, take a rest and allow the people who want to purchase some items to do so before they continue.
Talking about rest stops, I would also want to relate it to the environmental concerns of these areas.
Again, I want to bring out one particular experience I observed and this is very disgusting, embarrassing and sometimes an eyesore and I am referring to people who stand by the roadside and urinate. I am particularly embarrassed when it happens to be a female. I think that there must be some laws by the District Assemblies, by the Municipal Assemblies that it becomes an offence to stand by the
Madam Speaker 1:15 p.m.
We move on to the next Statement.

Time Management in Ghana
Mr. Stephen Kunsu (NDC -- Kintampo North) 1:15 p.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity given me to make a Statement on time management
Mr. Stephen Kunsu (NDC -- Kintampo North) 1:15 p.m.
politicians and bureaucrats crystallize the African time concept in their daily routine.
Madam Speaker, in most functions, speeches or addresses of invited guests are often preceded by monotonous repetition of excuses for lateness. Our negative attitude to time management has become a mental phenomenon that needs to be decolonized from our minds. A lot of Ghanaians prostitute their time, resources and energies on frivolities.
Time wastages manifest themselves in funerals and other social gatherings, conversations, offices, workplaces, meetings, durbars and conferences, to mention a few. In public offices tasks which normally will take some few minutes to complete, will take hours, days and weeks. Simple programmes of very short durations stretch into several hours as the result of over-elaboration and un- necessary interruptions.
Madam Speaker, some churches offer vivid examples of wastage. Church services and programmes are in some cases overstretched beyond endurance resulting in some members of the congregation leaving before the close of the service or programmes. In social gatherings such as funerals, communities spend days and months memorializing the departed to the detriment of productivity. Even ordinary conversations between two people run into several minutes and hours. It is a commonplace to see people entangled in argumentative cul-de-sac and thereby whittling down contact hours.
Madam Speaker, another manifestation of time wastage is in the exchange of courtesies and greetings. This can last several minutes in the streets.
Madam Speaker, if Ghanaians do not change their attitude towards time

management, the nation will find it extremely difficult and almost impossible to recoil from its present economic strait jacketing and all the beautiful talks about attaining a middle income status will relapse into a meaningless political rhetoric and a mere academic exercise. Ghana will be chasing shadows of developed nations such as Malaysia, Korea, China, India and others and the economic chasm between them will continue to widen.

Madam Speaker, to exorcise this canker from society Ghanaians must be conscientised to enable them realize the harmful effects of time wastage on productivity and development. I therefore call on all stakeholders including traditional authorities, educational institutions, State enterprises, departments and agencies, District Assemblies, the various arms of government and Ministries, to spearhead the crusade.

Furthermore, workers should be adequately motivated by their employers so that they can be galvanized to utilize contact hours effectively. Punitive measures should at the same time be taken against misuse of contact hours. When this is done, malingering, lateness and absenteeism will be minimized.

Thank you once again, Madam Speaker, for allowing this presentation.
Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC -- Wa Central) 1:15 p.m.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity to make a contribution to this very important Statement. Talking about time and our time managements in this country, Madam Speaker, it is often said that time is money; but it is even truer to say that time is energy. Madam Speaker, let me just quote a formula that tells about the importance of time into eternity.
We all know who Einstein is. Einstein was one of the greatest of our scientists in this world and his formula which is E=mc2E meaning energy is equal to Mass times acceleration squared, tells us that time is actually energy.
Mr. G. K. B. Gbediame 1:15 p.m.
On a point
of correction. Madam Speaker, the (c) is the speed of light and not the acceleration growth.
Mr. Pelpuo 1:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, we
were taught in the rudimentary science in our secondary schools that E=mc2 and so the interpretation is Energy is equal to Mass times acceleration squared, being what he says is the speed of light. Well, it is the speed of light so I think that I agree with him because that is a better approach to science.
Madam Speaker, it is not just about Einstein I want to talk about and it is not about the formula per se but I am talking about the essence of time in whatever we want to do, even in the movement we do everyday which is equal to what I call the energy that we exert in order to make money.

So it is important that when we are talking about it, we equate it to the origin of life itself. The situation where we call time “African time” in Ghana so that anytime you want to go for a meeting for example, and the meeting is at 8.30, you wait until it is 8.30 before you begin to move towards the meeting grounds is deplorable and must not be encouraged at all.

Madam Speaker, it is so important that

our development life is affected because if we multiply the time wasted by any single fellow in Ghana towards a productive measure and multiply by the number of man-hours we spend, you would recognize that we are losing so much time and we are losing so much of our productive life in doing nothing.

So it is important that this Statement is taken very seriously. I know of the initiative by my Hon. Member for Lawra/ Nandom when he was the Regional Minister for my region. He established what he called the Ambrose time and Ambrose time simply meant that if you said 9 o'clock then it is 9 o'clock, if a meeting should start at 10 o'clock, it should start at 10 o'clock and not 10 minutes after 10 o'clock or a minute after 10 o'clock.

Madam Speaker, I was shocked when I travelled out of this country to another country and their approach to time and our approach to time was a very serious contradiction to me and it was almost a cultural shock to me. This is because in Ghana if you go 10 minutes late it is excusable. If Parliament is to start at 10 o'clock and you start at 10.30, it is a normal business.

In most places of the world, especially

in Europe and America, it is abnormal, and in our situation abnormality has become the normal practice here and it is important for us to begin to reason up and to begin to redefine how we look at time in relation to our productive life, in relation to how we approach development in this country. And I think that the maker of the Statement could not have been truer when he said that we need to overhaul our whole understanding of what time is so that we can fix our approach to national life in a more proper context.

Madam Speaker, on this note, I want to

say that as we prepare to launch ourselves into the next millennium, as we prepare
Mr. Pelpuo 1:25 p.m.
to reach the middle income status where Ghana would be amongst one of the thirteen middle income countries in Africa, we take time seriously because time is the bottom line if we want to progress, if we want to achieve anything. Anytime we devise means by circumventing the need to ensure that we keep to our time, we are cutting away our productive energies and eventually we are retrogressing in our forward march to see Ghana reach the middle income status.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the
Mrs. Catherine Abelema Afeku (NPP
-- Evalue Gwira): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the various Statements and in particular to time management. The Hon Member who made the Statement did mention conscientisation and I would like to delve a bit into it.
In May 2006, the former President,
His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor launched the national orientation portion attached to the Ministry of Information and National Orientation as a safe way into conscientising the youth, the populace and also the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to see attitudinal shift as a way to manage our time, to instil pride in our nation and best of all to unite us with one single purpose and also to give some credence to our past heroes.
I was not born but I do know that in the past, the first President also had the Young Pioneers and when I was a child I do remember Colonel Acheampong with their pledge and a sense of nationalism that actually inculcated time management and the love for the nation to produce and to become fruitful. We reflect back to about two or three years ago and we had a similar thing attached to the Ministry, where we did some form of conscien-

tisation, attitudinal shift to inculcate a sense of pride and in essence to teach each and everyone that time management will actually boost productivity.

But now, I am very happy that there is a young woman who is taking on the Ministry of Information but surprisingly the national orientation portion has been dropped off and there is no mention of it. So it would be very important for this House to talk about conscientisation and to bring back or resurrect national orientation so that time management as a portion of our national attitude shift would be brought back even in the curricula of schools.

That would be a way to start even from the kindergarten so that children are made to understand that time is money and it is not only money but it also leads to productivity to build a better Ghana.

Secondly, I would like to also congratulate my Hon. Colleague who talked about International Women's Day. Madam Speaker, I just want to make a quick comment that women are facing violence but a lot of it is in the marital homes or sexuality.
Mr. O. B. Amoah 1:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker,
on a point of order. Madam Speaker, with all due respect, my Hon Colleague on the floor is attempting to define violence in another way. I do not really agree with her to the effect that if there are few women in this House then it is intellectual violence. It is a very dangerous statement and she must not be allowed to carry on with such a statement.
Mr. James Klutse Avedzi 1:25 p.m.
Speaker, I think my Hon Friend on the floor is trying to smuggle something else into the Statement on the floor. The Statement on the floor is about time management, why is she bringing sexuality into it? She should speak to the Statement on the floor. Madam Speaker, she is trying to smuggle into the Statement.
Madam Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon. Member,
draw your relevance to the paper that is before us.
Mrs. Afeku 1:25 p.m.
I thank Madam Speaker,
for drawing my attention to it.
Madam Speaker, I want to really reiterate my commitment to the fight for time management. Madam Speaker, really my effort is to bring to the attention of this House the disappearance of national orientation which was the fight to really bring to the forefront time management and a way to see Ghana as a nation that can save a lot of money and a lot of effort in making our nation very productive if we pay attention to time management at all spheres of life.
I thank you, Madam Speaker, for
allowing me to say these few words.
Madam Speaker 4:25 p.m.
If there are no other contributions on this Statement, Hon Members, Sitting would be suspended for one hour. This is because we will have to lay the Papers in item 4 and they are almost ready but not quite ready. It means we are suspending Sitting for one hour and

then we would come back at 3 o'clock to finish with the item 4 before the Budget Statement comes up tomorrow. So the House is suspended for one hour.

The Sitting was suspended at 1.35 p.m.

Sitting resumed.
Madam Speaker 4:25 p.m.
Hon Members, we move to item 4 - Commencement of Public Business.
PAPERS 4:25 p.m.

Mr. J. T. Akologu 4:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker,
I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1) which require that no motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the motion is given and the date on which the motion is moved, the motion for the adoption of the Second Report of the Committee of Selection on the Composition of the Standing and Select Committees may be moved today.
Mr. Ambrose P. Dery 4:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I beg to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
MOTIONS 4:25 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee) 4:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I beg to move, that this honourable House adopts the Second Report of the Committee of Selection on the Composition of the Standing and Select Committees.
Madam Speaker, in so doing I present the Second Report on the Committee of Selection.
1.0 Introduction
In accordance with Standing Orders 151 and 152, the Committee of Selection was on Friday, 9th January, 2009 appointed and mandated to consider the composition of Standing and Select Committees of the House.
1.1 Accordingly, the Committee met and discussed the composition of the Committees of the House based on the ratio of 51:49 as approved by the House.
1.2 In line with the convention of the House the Majority and Minority Caucuses presented their proposed lists of membership for the Standing and Select Committees in accordance with the approved ratio to the Committee of Selection and these were approved.
2.0 Appointments Committee and Business Committee
Members would recall that at the fourth Sitting of the First Meeting of Parliament held on Tuesday, 13th January, 2009, the House approved the composition of the Appointments Committee and the Business Committee.
3.0 List of Committees
The list of the remaining Standing Committees and all the Select Committees of the House are as follows:

Standing Committees


AND CHILDREN 4:25 p.m.








ATTACHMENT 4:25 p.m.

MITTEE 4:25 p.m.



COMMITTEE 4:25 p.m.

CHILDREN 4:25 p.m.



Mr. Ambrose P. Dery 4:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I rise to second the motion.
Question proposed.
Mr. Asamoah Ofosu 4:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I have got a copy of the Report and in the Introduction it is stated that this report is presented in accordance with Standing Orders 151 and 152. Madam Speaker, I have taken pains to refer to the Standing Orders of the House, especially 151 (2) which states and with your kind permission, I read:
“Unless it is otherwise expressly provided it shall be the duty of the Committee of Selection to prepare and report within the first ten Sitting days after its appointment lists of Chairman, Vice-Chairmen and Members to compose the following Standing Committees of the House which shall be appointed at the said first Meeting of Parliament.”
Madam Speaker, we are told that this report is presented in compliance with Order 151 and I know for a fact that we have had more than 10 Sittings since this session; so I do not know whether it is in compliance with the Order as we are made to believe. Irrespective of the fact that motions shall be debated after 48 hours, we know that item 5 has dealt with the suspension of that motion.
So Madam Speaker, I need your guidance as to whether we can proceed with a report which is in clear defiance of the very Orders of this House without your permission to suspend same. I need your guidance, Madam Speaker.
Mr. J. T. Akologu 4:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the hon. Member perhaps was not here
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Mr. J. T. Akologu 4:35 p.m.


in the first 5 days after the inauguration of the House because as the report itself has indicated, on the 9th of January, 2009 this House appointed and mandated the Leadership to consider the composition of Standing and Select Committees of the House. That was done in conformity with Standing Order 151 and it was indicated that we could not complete the exercise, that was why we went ahead to compose the Appointments Committee and Business Committee and provided that at a later date we would complete the composition of the Select Committees.

So, we had complied with it but with some difficulties we said we will complete the exercise later. So, we are just referring to the Standing Order that we are in compliance and we are completing the exercise.

Madam Speaker, as it was pointed out by his front Bench, perhaps he has to be more regular in the House to follow the Business of the House.
Dr. A. A. Osei 4:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, my Hon Senior Colleague has not answered the hon. Gentleman's question. The issue is, Madam Speaker, with your permission, I quote:
“the first ten sitting days” I think, that was his point. And we are trying to find out if this House or Rt. Hon. Speaker has waived the Order. We are allowed to waive our own Standing Orders, but the point is that, do we have it on record that this has been done? If it has not been done, then it is incorrect, you can come back and ask permission to waive the Order. You said “in the Report; “. . . in accordance with . . .”
So the assumption is that you have complied. And his objection is that has not been complied with.
I believe the hon. Member for Kade is not averse to the hon. Deputy Majority Leader coming back to ask Rt. Hon. Speaker to waive those Standing Orders. As of now, I have not seen any Hansard that explicitly says that Order 151 clause 2 has been waived. So, if he is asking the Speaker to set aside this Order 151 (2), I think he should do it properly. The fact that you said, you agreed, you cannot agree on your own to waive the Standing Orders. Madam Speaker, we do not conduct Business that way.
Madam Speaker 4:35 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, shall I hear you?
Mr. Ambrose P. Dery 4:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
I think that within the ten Sitting days, we came to this Chamber and indicated to Madam Speaker that we could only settle, by consensus, on the Business and Appointments Committee whilst we work out the ratio for both sides. At that stage, we were still waiting for hon. Members who are independent members and those belonging to other parties beyond New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) to indicate --
So at that Sitting, Madam Speaker gave us permission to go ahead and go through the process. It is based on that understanding that we quoted the “January, 9th ”. So it is an ongoing process and it has matured today. Therefore, Madam Speaker, it looks like, if we were in another realm, it is kind of extension of time. We had come and said we could only agree on two based on consensus while we worked on the ratio to make sure that the composition reflected the agreed ratios. That is the result now.
So when we presented the report to this House, Madam Speaker gave us the
Mr. Ambrose P. Dery 4:35 p.m.

Madam Speaker, I want to draw the attention of your goodself and the House to the Committee on Defence and Interior, “Under Select Committees”.

Madam Speaker, I am talking of the

heading. It is Defence and Interior. But for the past five, six years, this particular Committee has also dealt with National Security. So if Madam Speaker looks at it throughout the list as presented, there is no mention of National Security, but National Security has to have a budget. And it is the Defence and Interior Committee that has been dealing with National Security.

So I would like to appeal to your goodself that we add National Security to Defence and Interior so that this organisation is covered . [An Hon Member: Is not in the Standing Orders.] Yes, the Standing Orders only guide us. The Standing Orders are not masters to our operations here. We are free to alter them as and when it is convenient for the House.

So I would suggest Madam Speaker, that from now on we regard National Security as part of this Committee. After all, Defence and Interior are also security organisations for all purposes. So we must as well deal with all security issues under this Committee.
Madam Speaker 4:35 p.m.
It is a suggestion, any contribution?
Dr. A. A. Osei 4:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the Standing Orders do not have National Security in there. We cannot just change our Standing Orders because we want to. The point I quite understand. But to try to change the Standing Orders when the Standing Orders Committee is now being formed is not the right thing. So I think that we should come properly and let the Standing Orders Committee amend the
Standing Orders so that we can include National Security. Nothing stops us from considering the budget of the National Security under that. But to just amend that, that I do not think is proper.
Mr. Akologu 4:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think the Hon Member for Old Tafo (Dr. A. A. Osei) is right. And the hon. Chairman for the Defence and Interior Committee, actually brought this to our notice during the discussions on this matter, because he is a member of the Committee on Selection. And we told him that it will be taken care of when the budget is presented. And administratively, National Security will be added to his schedule. So I think we should stick to that. We cannot change it as it stands.
Madam Speaker 4:35 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member
for Tamale North, even Standing Order number 4 says that:
“These Standing Orders may be amended as provided for in Order
And then Order 84 shows you how we can amend it:
“The notice of any motion for the amendment of any of these Orders shall be accompanied by a draft of the proposed amendment. When the motion has been proposed and seconded it shall stand referred to the Standing Orders Committee,
. . .”
which we are now setting up --
“. . . and no further proceedings shall be taken on it until the Standing Orders Committee has reported on it.”
So maybe, at the appropriate time, you could bring your petition for the Standing Orders Committee.

permission to proceed and that is why we say it is in consonance with the Order.
Mr. Asamoah Ofosu 4:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the hon. --
Madam Speaker 4:35 p.m.
Please, can I make my ruling. You have raised the point.
Mr. Ofosu 4:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, there was an unfair statement against me and I want to bring it to your attention before you go ahead. With your kind permission.
Madam Speaker 4:35 p.m.
But I did not see you before you started talking.
Mr. Ofosu 4:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, this part of the House looks very dark - [Laughter.]
Madam Speaker 4:35 p.m.
Anyway, you can contribute now. I have seen you now.
Mr. Ofosu 4:35 p.m.
Thank you, very much, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker, I think the Hon Deputy Majority Leader, has not been fair to me in trying to answer to the objection I raised by saying that perhaps if I were more regular in this House I would have seen what went on.
Madam Speaker, we operate in this House and we are guided by the Standing Orders of the House of which he and I have been citing and using for the past eight years. If the Committee had any difficulty in settling on where Independent hon. Members would want to belong to and the position they may or may not have taken -- Madam Speaker, is it a simple English language that I do not understand?
At least, the implications of the legal terminology that -- he is saying that “. . . in accordance with the Standing Order . . .” I have read the relevant provision and it says we should report within ten years.
So it is either you have reported or not. And if not, these were the circumstances.
But to say that one is regular or irregular -- He should take the Votes and Proceedings and see -- [Laughter] -- He has to withdraw that statement because anybody reading it, including my constituents, will one day say that I was irregular, meanwhile I have been very regular. The records are there and I challenge him.
Madam Speaker, I humbly request that he withdraws that part. It is most unfair to me.
Madam Speaker 4:35 p.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, he says he has been very regular but you did infer that “if he had been regular” and he just wants to correct you that he has been regular. That is the only issue he has been raising now. You accept it?
Mr. Akologu 4:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the Hon Colleague in reference is a very good Friend. I know that he is very dutiful and responsible. But on that note I spare him. I withdraw that portion.
Madam Speaker 4:35 p.m.
Thank you, Hon Member.
Let me give a ruling. I think our attention has been drawn - and that is -- as to the objection raised that there is no compliance with Orders 151 and 152. My attention has been drawn to the days when we came here and gave a ratio of how to appoint Members to these committees. That was the time we said upon a future date, it was agreed, it would be brought. And I think this is the future date. So, they did not have to comply within the ten Sitting day's. They had done it and had got the exemption to bring it now. So I think it is in order.
That is my ruling.
Yes, Hon Member for Tamale North?
Alhaji Sumani Abukari 4:35 p.m.
Thank you,
Madam Speaker.
Mr. C. S. Hodogbey 4:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I want to draw your attention to page 16 of the Select Committees. My name appeared twice so I do not know which one actually is relating to me. We have number 2 and number 10 of page 16 of the Select Committees.
Mr. Akologu 4:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I guess clearly, this is another case of a typographical problem and we have done it before by convention. Madam Speaker, I know a lot of corrections would be made either by way of name spelling and other things. And as it is being pointed out we would come again but a substantive one like this, I guess it is - we have to get a name and put it there. That is why I said we will come again.
Madam Speaker 4:45 p.m.
Have you not already spoken on this? I think you have moved your chair, have you?
Mr. Ofosu Asamoah 4:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I moved my chair because the place is dark.
Madam Speaker 4:45 p.m.
It was a point of order. So can I hear you?
Mr. Asamoah Ofosu 4:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think I need to draw your attention to perhaps call my Hon Colleagues to order. Madam Speaker, I think during our first Sitting this morning you exercised your powers under Standing Order 42 to suspend Sitting for one hour. Unfortunately, Madam Speaker, we stayed for more than one hour and by the regulation of this House we sit ordinarily between ten o'clock and two o'clock and if for any reason we have to extend Sitting it is announced by your goodself before
two o'clock, at least three minutes before two o'clock.
Madam Speaker 4:45 p.m.
Anyway, one point
of correction. I am also here but let us hear hon. Akologu.
Mr. Asamoah Ofosu 4:45 p.m.
We have not been served with food as well and an empty sack cannot stand.
Madam Speaker 4:45 p.m.
That is important.
Mr. Akologu 4:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I am afraid -- I think a short while ago I tried to help my Hon Friend by withdrawing a certain statement but what he has just done he is vindicating me.
Madam Speaker, under our rules, I think you your goodself indicated that the House will have an extended Sitting and suspended Sitting. [Interruptions.] The House was suspended till four o'clock. So Madam Speaker, I think the Hon Member is out of order. [Some Hon Members: No.]
Madam Speaker 4:45 p.m.
Well, if you are still
insisting, I did suspend to a later time and that is when we are here. I am perfectly entitled to suspend to a later time and we are here in accordance with that.
Mr. Asamoah Ofosu 4:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I am not challenging your authority to suspend the Sitting to a later time. But what I am saying is that you suspended
Mr. Asamoah Ofosu 4:45 p.m.

specifically for one hour which you are empowered under Standing Order 42 so to do. You may state the time and you could even adjourn sine die. But it was suspended for one hour and within the one hour we were within time to close before two o'clock and it states that for any occasion we have to Sit after two o'clock there should be an announcement of an extended Sitting at least three minutes before two o'clock.

We do not have it on record that at any point in time hon. Members have been notified that there will be an extended Sitting and it is now five o'clock, no food, no water, nothing -- [Hear! Hear!] -- Even that, we could sacrifice. But Madam Speaker, I am coming under the Standing Orders of this House that since no announcement has been made I am moving for the adjournment of this House.
Madam Speaker 4:45 p.m.
Were you looking at Standing Order 42?
Mr. Asamoah Ofosu 4:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker,
I looked at Standing Order 42.
Madam Speaker 4:45 p.m.
“(1) Mr. Speaker may a t any time suspend a Sitting of the House.
(2) Mr. Speaker shall be responsible after consultation with the House, for fixing the time when a Sitting of the House should be adjourned sine die or to a particular day, or to an hour or part of the same day.
(3) Mr. Speaker may, if he thinks fit, call a Sitting of the House before the date or time to which it has been adjourned or at any time after the House has been adjourned sine die.”
Mr. Asamoah Ofosu 4:55 a.m.
Speaker, no; you can suspend for the one hour or to a later time. But you are empowered to call us before but not after under 42 (3). If you call us before the one hour then, Madam Speaker, you are within the Orders. But after the time, and after 2 o'clock, specifically, without any announcement, I think we are not able to Sit under the Orders of this House.
Madam Speaker 4:55 a.m.
Yes, that is all right. I will take a contribution.
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho 4:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, you have made a ruling on the matter and I do not know what the Hon Member who is a very good Friend of mine is trying to do. But he made a very important point which I have to concede -- the food and the water. [Laughter.] That one we have to consider. But the other matters, I think that you have made a ruling and I think your ruling on the matter is right.
Madam Speaker 4:55 a.m.
Yes, but if you talk about the food and the water, why did we not get it?
Mr. Adjaho 4:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I think the Leaders are here. [Laughter.]
Mr. John Akologu 4:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I think food and water are very important in the system but we did not anticipate that we will stay this long. We will plead that hon. Members bear with us and that it will not be repeated.
Madam Speaker 4:55 a.m.
Actually, he has given an undertaking that it will not be repeated. The food and water business
Madam Speaker 4:55 a.m.

will not be repeated. I think we will accept it. I think the business left is not much. After I have ruled I will move on to another point. [Interruptions.] It is a different issue. All right, we have finished with this issue.
Mrs. Gifty Kusi 4:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, mine is an appeal to both the Majority and Minority Caucuses. The Special Budget Committee, page 15, there is no woman on that Committee and it is the Committee that decides on the budget of this House; so I am appealing that at least they should put a woman there. I do not think anyone will plan a house without the wife. Please, please, I am appealing.
Madam Speaker 4:55 a.m.
I think this appeal is going to both sides, both Leaders. Any comment on that?
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I do not think that what we have done here is cast in stone, that it cannot be reviewed subsequently. We could, maybe, have a second look at it at the appropriate time when we come to it. But listening to my Deputy Whip, the emphasis on the affairs of Parliament, really I think what she is considering is the House Committee and not the Special Budget Committee.
The Special Budget Committee does look at the budgets of constitutional bodies, Parliament inclusive - the Electoral Commission, the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the National Media Commission and so on and so forth. That is the task of the Special Budget Committee.
So not to take anything away from the point she made that perhaps we may have to consider including at least one woman on all the committees that we
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:55 a.m.

constitute -- not only the Special Budget Committee but also on all the Committees sub-sequently. And as I am suggesting, at the appropriate time we may have to look at it. For the time being, I will plead with my Deputy Whip to allow this to stand because it has taken a lot of effort within this short time to do this.

Last night, I had to leave the precincts of Parliament after 1.00 a.m. -- this morning, all to make sure that we get these things right. So I will plead with my hon. Colleague the Deputy Whip to allow this to stand for the time being and we will come back to it at the appropriate time.
Madam Speaker 4:55 a.m.
By that you mean it will be amended to include a woman?
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, it will be considered.
Madam Speaker 4:55 a.m.
Because I do not get
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:55 a.m.
Speaker, it will be considered at the appropriated time.
Madam Speaker 4:55 a.m.
To include a woman?
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, to include a woman.
Madam Speaker 4:55 a.m.
If you say “it will be considered” without stating that the point will be taken into consideration then you have not answered her. Because you did say that every committee should have at least one woman and that is what she is pressing for. And if you say “it will be considered”, is it that you will consider it favourably?
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, absolutely so. And you know, by the rules, you are speaking through me.
Madam Speaker 4:55 a.m.
Yes, through you.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, because you are the Chairperson of this Committee.
Madam Speaker 4:55 a.m.
Because I need to be clear about what you say too, before we can move on or I can - but I am not joining in the debates at all. I just wanted clarification because I need to inform myself at every stage. Thank you; I get the point.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, it will be given favourable consideration at the appropriate time.
Madam Speaker 4:55 a.m.
I think the point has been taken and answered. Any other point?
Mr. Adjaho 4:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, we want assurance from the two Leaders of both sides on this matter. This is because the issue is not as simple as that. If you look at the Constitution, all shades of opinion have to be taken into account in the composition of all the committees which have been captured again in our Standing Orders. And I want them to give us a certain assurance that this will be done quickest so that we will know that, yes, we want to take our women, ladies of this House into account in the composition of the committees.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I thought the assurance that I gave, to quote the Hon Member for Shama, is “all-inclusive”. I am not talking about the net; I am talking about the gross. But Madam Speaker, when the Constitution and our Standing Orders talk about all shades of opinion, I believe my Hon Colleague the First Deputy Speaker is not restricting it to gender. Because when
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:55 a.m.

we talk about “all shades of opinion”, we are talking about political parties; it includes gender, it includes geographical -- [Pause] --It includes sex; it includes ability and disability, all manner of things. So let not my hon. Colleague lead us into temptation.
Mr. John Akologu 4:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we recall that in the discussion that ensued after the presentation I indicated that there are bound to be certain errors which will be dealt with and that we will come to the House again at the appropriate time. I think that the point that has been raised is a very valid one and we will give it due consideration and at the appropriate time we will -- Madam Speaker, you are the Chairperson of this Committee and we will discuss it at your instance and then come back to the House and rectify -- [Interruption.]
Madam Speaker 4:55 a.m.
Yes, the appropriate time is now that your attention is being drawn to these things, is it not?
Mr. John Akologu 5:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, so we will take note of that and deal with it.

Madam Speaker, our attention was drawn by Hon Charles Hodogbey, to page 16 of the Select Committee's list; Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises, where his name appeared twice. We have just discovered that the name under item 10 should have rather been Alfred Abayateye and not Charles Hodogbey again. So it should be corrected to read Alfred Abayateye.
Dr. Osei 5:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, with respect to our Leadership, we expect that not all these changes could be made at this time; and I crave their indulgence that we move on, adopt the report, and that they give us the assurance that by next week, they will make all these arrangements so

we can move on in the right direction.
Madam Speaker 5:05 p.m.
I think that the Minority Leader has given the assurance, and he requires that from you.
Mr. Akologu 5:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think that I have repeated myself except that we were exercising some democratic rights here that hon. Members should speak. Now that hon. Dr. A. A. Osei has spoken for all of us, I want to give the assurance that we will do the necessary corrections and then come back to the House.
Madam Speaker 5:05 p.m.
Let us hear from somebody who is -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Stephen Kunsu 5:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker,
on page two, Standing Committees, Privileges, my name, “Stephen Kunsu” appears under Vice-Chairman. Then when you come to page four, under the same privileges, number two, hon. Owusu- Mainu, Emmanuel is the Vice-Chairman. I do not know how we can reconcile the two.
Mr. Akologu 5:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, this one falls within the same corrections that we have just talked about. In fact, because we were put under pressure when this thing came up, we could not match it against the drafts that we prepared. So we will take it under the same thing and do the necessary corrections.
Mr. Hodogbey 5:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I would like your guidance on the Special Budgets Committee which has no Vice- Chairman. I do not know whether it is purposely reserved for the lady we are thinking of. There is no Vice-Chairman on the Special Budget Committee. Page 15, the Standing Committee -- Special Budgets Committee.
Mr. Akologu 5:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the convention has been that, this Committee,
because it is a special Ad hoc Committee that was later taken under our Standing Orders, it did not have a Vice-Chairman; it was the Majority Leader who was the Chairman, and the Minority Leader was the Vice-Chairman. So when you see the list here, you will see that Prof. Gyan- Baffour, under no. 12 is the Ranking Member. I think that should be changed to the Vice-Chairman. Continue to page 16; it should not be Ranking Member. Is that not the case?
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think that by and large, he is right. What we thought of at the time was to make the Deputy Leader, the Chairman; and the Ranking Member was to be made the Vice-Chairman. Madam Speaker, the suggestion came about because the Majority Leader at the time was the Minister responsible for Parliamentary Affairs. And Parliamentary Affairs was a Ministry. So it was like he having to chair the Committee that was looking at the Budget of his own Ministry.
So we proposed that next time around the Chairman rather should be the Deputy Majority Leader, and the Vice-Chairman should be the Ranking Member as designated here.
Madam Speaker, we find ourselves in a different situation now, where we now do not have a Minister for Parliamentary Affairs which is why the Majority Leader can still retain his position as Chairman; but then the Vice-Chairman then will go to the Ranking Member.
The other thing that maybe we should put to rest, Madam Speaker, is this matter relating to the chairmanship of Government Assurances. It has come forward, it has gone backwards. I do not think we can exhaust it here. I am just bringing it up for consideration so that at the appropriate time we can settle on the chairmanship of that Committee.
At a point in time, it was thought that it should be chaired by the Minority just like the Public Accounts Committee; but we have not come to a decision yet on that. But maybe because we all recognize that possibly in the next Meeting, we shall be attending to the reviewing of the Standing Orders, perhaps, we may let it hold as it is, and when it comes to reviewing the Standing Orders, we take it on board.
Mr. Akologu 5:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader's position is well taken. But I just want to draw our attention to the fact that this time round, the Chairman for this Committee happens to be a member of the Minority party, except that he is doing business with the Majority. But we have made progress in that direction. This side has made progress in the direction of real accountability. We have asked somebody in the Minority party to be the Chairman of this Committee. Maybe, as he indicated, when we come to revise the Standing Orders, and any position is taken, we will go by that.
Mr. Isaac Osei 5:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I
believe that the point raised by an hon. Member on the other side about the Vice- Chairmanship of the Privileges Committee is important. We cannot approve two different people for the same position; so we have to make that clear now. Is it hon. Stephen Kunsu or Emmanuel Owusu- Mainu? I think we have to make that clear.
Mr. Akologu 5:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, it is hon. Stephen Kunsu. [Pause.] Madam Speaker, as I indicated, we will look at these things and effect the necessary correction. But if they are insisting - [Interruption.]
Madam Speaker 5:05 p.m.
Yes, if they are
insisting, tell us who is going to be there.
Mr. Akologu 5:15 p.m.
It would be Hon Owusu-Mainu -- [Pause.] Madam Speaker, I think that I stated this but the Hon Isaac Osei insisted that we have to know who the Vice-Chairman is and then I said that we will do the necessary correction and inform the House; but he is insisting. That is why I said it is Hon Owusu-Mainu. Yes, we are all right with that - Hon Owusu-Mainu is the Vice- Chairman for the Privileges Committee.
Mr. Isaac Osei 5:15 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I am satisfied. The point I was making was that we could not approve a document with two different names for the same position. But I understand it is Hon Owusu-Mainu. We understand.
Dr. A. A. Osei 5:15 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I want to crave your indulgence again. I think it would be unusual for the Committee to come up with amendments for us to approve next time. I can foresee that if we try to make all the corrections here we would be spending all night doing that. I think we would refer it to the Leadership that you give them time to come back and move the appropriate changes so that we can adopt it next week, perhaps, if it so suits their convenience. So I crave your indulgence that if we can move to adopt the report of the Committee and thank them for a job well done subject to all the amendments.
Mr. Akologu 5:15 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I have said that Hon Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei has come to the aid of this House several times except now he is says we should do this thing by next week. I want to crave the indulgence of the House that maybe at the next Meeting because this one is too short.
Madam Speaker 5:15 p.m.
Hon Members, I am closing the debate now and we are going to put the Question.
Question put and motion agreed to.
Madam Speaker 5:15 p.m.
And with the adoption of the motion committees of the House have been duly constituted.
Hon. Akologu, have you got any indication to give us before we adjourn?
Mr. Akologu 5:15 p.m.
Madam Speaker, tomorrow is a very important day for us -- [Interruptions.] The Budget would be presented to the House and I want to crave the indulgence of the House that they should try and be punctual and present in the Chamber to listen to the presentation. It is in our constituents' interests that we are here to listen to the Budget presentation.
Madam Speaker, with these, I leave the rest to you.

  • The House was adjourned at 5.20 p.m. till 5th March, 2009 at 10.00 a.m.